The Internal Journey Of Leadership Creative Writing

Length: 5 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Terrorism Type: Creative Writing Paper: #64832774 Related Topics: Authentic Leadership, Materialism, Spirituality, Creative Writing
Excerpt from Creative Writing :

Inward Journey of Leadership

For a majority of individuals, becoming a successful leader constitutes a lifelong endeavor, requiring tremendous amounts of commitment and work. There are few who reach their complete potential as leaders, though this isn't on account of their lack of technical skills. Growing into a first-rate leader entails a lot more than management proficiency or improved strategic thinking. The process deals, most fundamentally, with personal transformation. Every great leader is on an ongoing internal journey of self-growth and self-discovery, with the intent to transform their organization as well as themselves (Souba, 2006).

Famous German poet, Rainer Rilke, once remarked that only one true journey exists in life, which is, to go inside oneself. However, an increasing proportion of individuals focus on the external; they are only concerned with standing out and looking good. However, concurrently, they face an internal restlessness, an intensifying feeling that they are missing out on something big, though they aren't certain of what it is. Plagued by their careers' isolation from personal values, many individuals are persuaded to compromise or detach their most deep-rooted values from their workplaces, despite such compartmentalization being contradictory to their fundamental values (Souba, 2006).

Four Practices of the Inward Journey

Leadership's inward journey, though private and personal, isn't indecipherable or unexplained. It entails: focus, discipline, hard work, and integrity. One's ability of maturing as a leader is grounded on one's ability of growing as an individual (Souba, 2006). One may embark on this journey by raising a number of important questions, including who one is, what one represents, where one's leadership stems from, and how one can grow into a better leader.

Four practices have been observed as being particularly beneficial in rendering the internal journey, rewarding and enhancing effectiveness in the organization, namely (Souba, 2006):

1. Constructing one's life story;

1. Knowing oneself;

1. Confronting one's inauthenticity; and

1. Connecting with one's spirituality.

Practicing the above habits everyday creates novel opportunities for transformation and personal growth. These closely-associated practices continue throughout one's life. Connecting with them (as one can never wholly complete any of them) is crucial to effective leadership (Souba, 2006).

1. Constructing One's Life Story

Willis Harman, a futurist, states that there is no need as compelling as that felt for one's life to have some meaning, i.e., to make some sense (Souba, 2006). Mankind is able to endure virtually any extent of risk or austerity in its unquenchable thirst for acquiring meaning (Harman, 1998). For making sense of our universe, we all pen individual life stories and draw meanings from it (Souba, 2006). One's life story offers the concept of one's identity and the way one fits into this world (i.e., self-concept), as well as the identity through which one may guide others (Shamir; Dayan & Adler, 2005). Adopting a narrative outlook towards the analysis of life stories of leaders gives less emphasis on what actually transpired (i.e., to the facts), while focusing more on systems for deriving meanings, employed by leaders for making sense of their experiences in life. Comprehending one's story and how one (in the role of a leader) can derive meaning from select experiences, may offer a base for leading. One key behavior of leaders is communicating their tale to others (Souba, 2006).

A leader is a figure whose leadership identity forms a basic constituent of his/her self-concept (Gardner & Avolio, 1998). Bennis (1994) states that for leaders, the enactment and exercise of leadership lies at the core of self-expression. For instance, tales of organizational leaders' dedication to teamwork, open communication, respect, and other core values reflects their integrity to followers, and subsequently, helps garner followers' trust. A fine example is Nelson Mandela, who was ready to serve a jail sentence for the principles he spoke of; this willingness on his part, made it clear that he wasn't merely a man of words, but of action, and through this, he expressed his real self. It goes without saying that those who don't comprehend that they are in an important leadership role can't effectively lead people (Souba, 2006).

An efficient leader will make use of the lessons learnt from coaches, mentors, and teachers, combining select learning experiences to serve his purpose. Using this portfolio of experiences, they can more clearly perceive their identity, beliefs, desires, and goals (Souba, 2006).

1. Knowing Oneself

In simple terms, identity denotes an individual's sense of location relative to social status, career choices, preferences, memberships, etc. If identity proves imperative to leadership exertion, having greater knowledge of how identity is represented and played back by leaders, not just to themselves, but to other people as well, is vital (Souba, 2006). While constructing one's life account, it functions as the internal model of one's past, present, and future identities (Palus; Nasby & Easton, 1991).

Nearly every individual listens using an ear of judgment, ascertaining whether or not what is heard is correct, to be accepted. Mankind has designed itself to judge and appraise others, rather than listen. As one's self-awareness rises, one improves one's ability of receiving feedback and listening generously, enabling transformation (Souba, 2006).

1. Confronting One's Inauthenticity

Authenticity represents a requisite rather than a choice. Nobody can be authentic by themselves. Authenticity largely hinges on what others see in one (Goffee & Jones, 2005). Everybody is, to some extent, inauthentic. This inauthenticity will range from insincere compliments to lying or exhibiting outright maliciousness. There are few who are conscious of their inauthentic behavior, as we have been conditioned so well to behave that way. Admitting our inauthenticity is the first step to authenticity (Souba, 2006).

Leading an authentic life implies having awareness of oneself, one's circumstances, responsibilities and the world. We all set out with distinct raw materials, including our genes, backgrounds, and social status. These beginnings, and the choices made along the way, are the basis for shaping oneself. The commonest type of inauthenticity is conventionality, which involves leading a life characterized by hollow materialism and conformity. If one manages to behave the way everybody else does, one needn't make choices by themselves. One may seek direction and advice from others and avoid having to make tough decisions independently (Souba, 2006).

1. Connecting with One's Spirituality

A great leader connects with and embraces his/her spirituality, making it the foundation for their ideals and values. It molds their character, commitments, and choices (Souba, 2006). With progress, this relationship gets increasingly fundamental, intentional, and starts transforming their lives. People begin achieving and living out their principles and values, as they know exactly what they are standing for. Everyone has their vulnerabilities, hang-ups, and flaws, which guide their attachments and inauthenticity. However, man tends to constantly take on his fears and insecurities, grapple with his inner self, and discover humanity. In this process, he develops the required resilience and conviction for confronting everything life throws in his path. This makes people more ground, centered, forgiving, and ultimately, more human. This kind of personal transformation was experienced by Nelson Mandela. After serving several years in prison, he made the following remark concerning one of Robben Island's cruelest and most ruthless commanding officers: that his nature had another facet, obscured, but still existing. It represented a handy reminder that every man, even one who appears to be the most hardhearted of them all, has a decent core. Such a person can change, if touched (Souba, 2006). He wasn't, ultimately, evil. The inhumanity he reflected was forced upon his person, by a merciless system. The reason for his brutish behavior was that he received rewards for it (Mandela, 1994).

The concept of spirituality is edging its way into modern-day workplaces. This isn't about being some shaman or new-ager or hermit. Instead, it deals with understanding that workers possess inner selves, which they don't like checking any longer, while at work. Distressed that their spiritual principles are insulated from their jobs, people are now raising the following questions: is it possible for me to be the same everywhere -- at home, at the workplace, at parties, or at church? When individuals believe they can truly be self-expressed, and belong to something bigger than just themselves, there will be a greater likelihood of them finding both personal and professional meaning in their respective tasks (Souba, 2006).

Goals for the DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) Program Related to Leadership

Systems and organizational leadership are crucial for DNPs to improve general healthcare and patient outcomes. Skills and knowledge at the doctoral level are in keeping with healthcare and nursing goals, for eliminating disparities in health, and promoting practice excellence and patient safety (The Essentials of Doctoral Education, 2006).

Nursing practice for DNPs involves both direct care and an emphasis on the requirements of a patient group, some specific target…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bennis W. (1994). On becoming a leader. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.

Gardner W, Avolio B. (1998). Charismatic leadership: The role of impression management. Acad Manage Rev; 23:32.

Goffee R, Jones G. (2005). Managing authenticity: The paradox of great leadership. Harvard Business Review. December 2005:86-94.

Harman W. (1998). Global mind change. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler Publishers.

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